This man is Michael E Balkunas MD
and he was chief of the W-1 unit of adult psychiatry at HOCC aka New Britain General Hospital in central connecticut in 2014, when I was hospitalized there for approximately a month. During that month he and his staff repeatedly brutalized me, including having guards strip me naked and restrain me, they laughed even as I said that they were enjoying the rape, spread-eagling my limbs into the restraint cuffs without even trying to cover me. This happened multiple times but when I informed the “doctor” what they had done, he hotly denied it, and called me a liar. But I was not and am not a liar and all I can say is, he was fucking the wrong person, because I hope to make his life the hell that he made mine… and I intend to do so by telling the truth, as loud and often as I need to. Because the truth not only will set me free, it just might one day teach monsters like Balkunas a badly needed lesson.
In truth, if you came here to find out how not to live a regulated life, by which I mean one not bound by routines and self-made Rules with a capital R, I may disappoint in what follows. Why? Because while I trust that my life, lacking as it is in almost all “regulated structure”, has a “mind of its own” and in that sense as much purpose as any other, I confess that this free-spirit eschewing of everything and anything routine is less by choice than by temperament.
Not that I have not tried, mightily, to instill in myself the values of routine, attempting to establish even one single habit that might tame a few of these impulses to spontaneity that don’t in fact help me. Okay, phoebe, be specific, name one! Well, in point of fact, i do not eat, sleep or even brush my teeth on any routine or scheduled or regulated basis….This is not troubling to me in terms of the first two: i live alone and have no intimate relationship, so when and where I sleep or eat is really nobody else’s concern. But my mouth is full of dental work that cost a mint, so the fact that I do not brush my teeth…period, let alone on a regular or scheduled basis could be seen as a problem. If it were not for frequent dental visits and a family who at least saw to it that my teeth were taken care of, I might be lacking them altogether.
But if my title above enticed you, you did not come here to read about my lack of dental hygiene or the drawbacks to living as I do, free of routines. One might see me as either free-spirited or run-amock, depending on how you perceive my life-style of spontaneously going with the flow and hoping for or anticipating the best outcome. As I said, this is not entirely by choice, as I seem to thrive (mostly) on doing things on a “what do I feel like doing now?” basis, rather than according to any schedule. Temperament? Most likely…though I can say that I was not always this way, or so comfortable with being and living the spontaneous life. As a child I was known as the Neatnik, the one whose room was meticulous all the time, and who knew where everything was placed or kept, down to the toothpicks in my antiqued-in-6th-grade-secretary-desk, lower left hand drawer, upper right quadrant, in a handmade box, next to the pen nibs in another box…(you see what I mean?)
if i used to be neat to an extreme and thrived on order, what the heck happened? I shake my head, wondering about the transformation myself…it may be that I was wrongly “typed” as the stoic, neatnik child, when my true nature was much more free wheeling. I know my parents had to pigeonhole each of us, their children, in order to “make sense of us” but did so on the basis of what they wanted to see not on what was there by nature. But maybe, too, there was a change as I grew up, either temperamentally or as a kind of rebellion, and assertion of who I really am.
Most or many people I know could not live as I do, and would neither want to or find it comfortable. I cannot seem to live any other way. But I will also say that if you are comfortable with routines and schedules, go for it. Find out who you really are and not who your parents decided you were, way back when. You can’t do more than survive, which is to say, you can only THRIVE when you know and are true to yourself and to what your needs and feelings are.
Sometime I will write about Nonviolent Communication and how it changed my life. Talk about not being spontaneous! This is a system and a tool for resolving interpersonal conflicts as well as developing a better self-rapport, and while you can learn to use it spontaneously , at first it feels rigid and constricting and even artificial. (But so what? I mean, baking bread is artificial, and so is using any electricity or a boat to ferry you across a river…what isn’t?). But those skilled in NVC are also some of the most accepting, tolerant and loving people I have ever met…so even if I do it on more or less spontaneous basis, i aim for such a state of being.
Toilet paper is the constitution. (Want this? it’s for sale. Make me an offer!)
including this one
Not sure why link is not working but if you click on it you will get to Disability Arts Onljne, from there go to magazine, then click on newest reviews. The second one in, so far, should be about O-rings and Cathode Rays, that is to say, the review.
i will try posting this address which may copy and paste better than the link does.
see my comment at the bottom of the review
Don’t forget to bookmark the page and follow!
Pam’s new art blog has art everyday!
please let me know whether this address gets you there, as I am having trouble with it!
Come check out my newest site, with my new Art Every day contributions.
I have been able to speak now for at least a month, but before that there were four months of what I can only call subconsciously self-imposed silence. Not “selective mutism” because I did not speak at all. There does not seem to be any term for this intermittent affliction, when I cannot speak for long periods of time, but as my poem says, “Nothing locks my lips or seals my tongue” — a paraphrase I fear because I do not recall the exact words.
I would write more, but I have no time this morning. I post this small, 3.5″ by 2.5″ drawing because of Sue B’s comment on my most recent post…as it most eloquently I think answers her question. Whatever the reason for my muteness, I do not consciously choose to go silent. It simply happens, with a bang, so to speak.
This muteness can lift, I have found, with music, with singing, and people encouraging me to sing…and then to sing-talk my words, until finally I “forget” and simply end up speaking.
Here is the poem I wrote that expresses some of htis, It can be found in my newest book, LEARNING TO SEE IN THREE DIMENSIONS, available on Amazon and through any bookstore.
I haven’t spoken out loud for many weeks,
bullied by “voices” to a frightened into myself silence.
Still, what does “speechless” mean
in these days of text-to-speech software,
with its choice of Vikki or Samantha or Victoria voices,
especially when I’m possessed of a blog and writing fluency
enough to speak my mind to my heart’s content?
Even so, being mute is not a manner of speaking.
Yet I tell you I cantalk. Nothing physical impedes
my tongue, or locks my lips
except my brain’s hallucinated snarls,
Jerry Mahoney and Charlie McCarthy thrown
into surrounding shadows
ordering up this stoppage, blockage, blockade.
Now, like Stevens’ fire-fangled bird at the end of the mind
feathered unlucky, tarred, locked in golden cage
my voice remains only a memento
I wanted to say, but could not get out,
I couldn’t get it out, I could not get it out…
*In the Greek myth, Philomela is raped and has her tongue cut out by Tereus, the husband of her sister Procne. Rendered mute, Philomela weaves a tapestry detailing the crime to inform her sister, who, enraged, takes revenge on Tereus. At the end of the story, both Procne and Philomela are transformed into birds. In some versions of this story, Philomela turns into a female nightingale, while in others she becomes a swallow. However, neither of these birds can sing.
*Jerry Mahoney and Charlie McCarthy are two famous American ventriloquists’ dummies